Dog Days
It's So Much Easier Than Walking!

The Good And The Bad

Someone asked me a few days ago how the garden was coming along and I answered by saying that the things that were doing well were doing really well and the things that were not - well, I probably just needed to start over and re-plant.

I was such a proud brocolli and cauliflower mommy, those being the things that were on the Doing Really Well list. This morning I went to take a quick look at the beds and I saw a few tiny worms in the cauliflower. No panic. I just plucked them out of there and made them one with the earth. Smush babies. Then I checked the brocolli. I flipped the leaf over and to my horror:

Broccoli bugsWhy? WHY?!

 

Brocolli bugs2
Brocolli Bugs

I don't know what to do because I don't know what they are. Sure, it's easy to feel like a winner when everything is going hunky dory but the minute I'm faced with an infestation I throw my hands up in the air and howl. They're brocolli bugs, whatever those are. They are feasting on the brocolli and testing the cauliflower. I don't know how to get rid of them.

It may be time to break out the BT but that isn't a quick solution. This is just the sort of thing that makes me want to go chemical. It would be so easy. I could spray my nearly non-existent spinach seedlings while I'm at it because something has eaten them down to the nub. And the bok choy and the tatsoi. And pretty much all of the lettuce. What I have in spades (at the moment) are garlic sprouts. Yay for garlic! It came up much faster than I expected and looks sturdy and strong.

IMG_2888
Yay for garlic!

The potato vines are hosting a party for their shaggy little friends which aren't shy about pulling right up to the buffet table:

Potatobug

Not everything is being eaten. The poor little cotton plants that I'm too lazy to stick in the ground continue to flower in their pots. They are probably root bound but they're survivors and I love their creamy butter color blossoms:

Cotton flower
Cotton Blossom

I'm just glad that we can part on a positive note. I'll let you know what I've found out about the brocolli pests. As for the potatoes, the easiest solution may just be to pull them up. It's been about 6 months since they've been underground. My weekend is starting to look busy.

Comments

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katina

Yeah - they look like aphids to me. you could always post to the facebook page to get a confirmation...I usually spray the undersides of the leaves with water (as strong of a jet as I can make) and/or I just 'rub off' the aphids - it basically squishes most of them.

Laura Munoz

They look like aphids to me too. If it makes you feel any better, I've purchased organic brocolli at the store only to find it had aphids. I rinsed them off. I'm sure I didn't get them all, but the taste was the same....'Course you don't want to leave them on your brocolli.

I agree with Katina, spray them off with a strong jet of water or use soapy water with an organic or natural soap to kill them.

Roberta

Ugh, they're hideous and there are so many of them. I naively thought we'd have fewer this year because we have so many lacewings!I'll spray them away with water tomorrow but I'm spraying with something within the week.

Sharon

Get a dish soap for your sprayer that is lemon scented if possible.... bugs HATE lemon scented soap! It (soap) takes off any protective coating (like a waxy one)and then the water drowns them. You could keep a spray bottle hanging near by to regularly use under leaves. I have been fighting stupid white flies and beetles.... grr!

Roberta

Good thinking! I know I've got a sprayer around here somewhere - I have one that I pump several times and mist the plants with BT. That's the route I'm going this weekend. I have it - no use wasting the stuff.

Grace

Aphids, no doubt about it. Rest assured, they're the most common bug in the world and even the most astute gardeners are plagued with them. Douse the leaves with water and they'll all go away. Some say use soap but you don't really have to. Water alone will work but you do what you think is best. And don't be discouraged.

Roberta

Aphids. Such a common garden pest that I don't recognize them, probably because I believe my garden to be so uncommon! I have already spritzed them off the leaves and this morning I pulled a rather large and well-camoflaged caterpillar from the base of the cauliflower. The damage had already been done. Half a leave had been devoured. I hope that cat got cramps in his jaw from all of his/her chomping!

Nina Potts

I live completely vicariously through your blog for gardening.

I can't grow a single plant to save my life. I can't even keep pre grown plants alive. Other people try to explain it to me but there are always two issues: first, it sounds like someone explaining calculus, when I can only do basic math. Second, they're explaining it as if some of the parts are common sense. For example, oh just water it once a week. Ok, what time during the day? How much water? Should I spray the water on it, let it drip into the dirt, or let the dirt fill up with a little pool of water.

So, thank you for sharing your garden online, where I can read all the interesting stuff, even if I can't keep any plants of my own alive.

Roberta

This was a very touching comment. That someone could ever live vicariously through my gardening is a compliment. I hope my sweet potato FAIL post doesn't turn you off. It's all trial and error, every step of the way. I hope one day you will venture out into the gardening world with, maybe a small container garden. Maybe you will grow a beautiful little bit of lettuce for a salad and it will be the best you EVER tasted!

Nina Potts

I like the trial and error. Otherwise the bulk of the writing would be "look at how awesome I am at growing things" which wouldn't be interesting to read.

I have a little box I bought months ago of some organic tomato seeds with soil that comes with them. A starter kit. I haven't planted it yet, I have plenty of pots, I just can't convince myself enough to do it.

The funny thing is, I'm great with animals, terrible with plants. You would think plants would be easier. Maybe if they could talk?

Also, good luck on NaNoWriMo, I know several authors doing it this year, and every year I watch several go insane trying to do it.

Roberta

Thank you, Nina! Heck, just throw that grow box together. The tomatoes will either grow or won't grow. This isn't the worst time to grow tomatoes in Texas, though most folks probably wait until late March or early April. Last year was my first successful tomato season and who knows if I'll be that lucky again anytime soon. And yes, NaNo is a cruel mistress. I don't know how I'll get through the month.

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